How to Build Porch Deck Stairs


Most do-it-yourselfers find building stairs the most challenging part of deck construction, because basic mathematics and accuracy are essential, according to the Titan website. Any homeowner may need to attempt the projecct, at some time. Planning is the key to success. Draw your design carefully and measure everything to make sure it is going to fit. There is nothing worse than being halfway into a project and then realizing it is not going to work.

Things You'll Need

  • 32 2x4's, 8 feet
  • Two 2x4's, 9 feet
  • Two 2x4's, 3 feet
  • Four 2x10's, 3 feet
  • One 2x10, 8 feet
  • Two 2x16's, 8 feet
  • Four 2x16's,3 feet
  • Tape Measure
  • Rake
  • Spirit Level
  • Electric Saw
  • Electric Drill
  • Deck Screws
  • Plan your stair, for example a construction that will stretch the length of the porch or deck and create a terraced effect. These stairs will require several extra feet of space, since each stair is going to be three feet wide and as long as your existing structure. They will be about 6 inches tall, 9 feet long and each step will be 3 feet deep. Make sure you have enough space to complete this project.

  • Level the area with a rake. Dig out any large boulders, and fill in any holes or low spots you may have in the area you are putting these steps. Remove any flowers, plants, trees, and grass as well, as the new steps will cover them.

  • Place the 8 foot 2x16 against the existing structure. Lay the two 9 foot 2x4's perpendicular to this and then put an 8 foot 2x4 across the front. These will be sitting with their 2 inch side upwards. Screw all of them together, using the deck screws. Verify they are level, as they will be the base for your steps.

  • Measure in 3 feet from the front and place the 8 foot 2x10 parallel with the front, with the 2 inch side up, and screw it in place.

  • Measure 3 feet from the 2x10 and place the 2x16, 2 inch side up, parallel with the 2x10. Screw it in place.

  • Starting with the front section, place the two 3 foot 2x4's between the 2x4 and the 2x10, going across and connecting the two. Make sure they are evenly spaced, and screw them in place, with their 2 inch side up.

  • Place one of the 3 foot 2x10's against the 2x4 on the side of the center section, 2 inch side up. Attach it to the 2x16, and the 2x10 that are going across, as well as the 2x4 on the side. Do the same thing to the other side of the center section.

  • Space the remaining two 3 foot 2x10's evenly between the two sides and screw them in place, 2 inch side up.

  • Place a 3 foot 2x16 against the 2x4 at either side of the last section and screw them in place.

  • Attach the remaining two 3 foot 2x16's, 2 inch side up and evenly spaced, in the last section as you did in the previous two sections. This is the foundation for the steps.

  • Lay 2x4's across the foundation, parallel with the porch. Make sure the sides line up and are even. Screw each 2x4 down where it touches another board.

  • Paint or stain to match or contrast with your house.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure all of your wood is pressure treated to repel bugs and weather.
  • You may consider placing a hand rail somewhere near your stairs, and perhaps some kind of non-slip tread on them, just to make sure they are safe.
  • Measure twice, cut once.

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  • Photo Credit stairs image by Horticulture from
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